When I was in second grade, I remember my teacher assigning classroom tasks to keep our class organized, clean and functioning well, giving the students a chance to be responsible.

My favorite task was erasing the chalkboards.

I’m not sure why, but I would imagine it had something to do with the gratifying feeling of perfectly aligning each swipe of the chalkboard eraser, creating clean, smooth lines. I remember trying to limit the dust which automatically filtered into the classroom air in light puffs of white powder—the remnants of the day’s work. It very much resonates with me todayI think I found comfort in knowing the following day would start anew, with fresh handwriting on the chalkboard, giving us insight into all subjects of life.

Many years later, as a mother of a special little boy, I think about this childhood experience, and I realize that it very much resonates with me today.

The chalkboard of life.

Our days are filled with challenge, emotions and milestones. Laughter, tears, frustration, hopes and dreams.

Our chalkboards are decorated with sensitive subjects, with detailed questions and answers to explore, with script that on some days may be entirely illegible. Illegible because sometimes there is no time to pause, no time to take that breath. And we must keep on writing, keep on advocating, keep on believing.

But then, something beautiful occurs. For me, it is at the end of the day, when I sit in my children’s room and say the Shema prayer with them. It is my tool, my eraser, that gently wipes clean that day’s chalkboard. It is the very personal task of I try to limit the dusterasing the day’s hardships and choosing to keep all that inspired me, all that changed me and all that helped us grow together as a family.

As I smooth out the lines, I try to limit the dust, the remaining puffs of heartache, longing, and often personal failures of the mother I strive to be. I take a minute to stand back, looking at my chalkboard, looking at my peaceful, sleeping children. And I smile.

Not because I love the task of erasing my chalkboard, but because when I awake in the morning, I will start fresh. With new chalk. With new dreams.

My very own chalkboard of life, in my very own school of thought. Filled with subjects of all kinds, and dreams of every nature.